Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 65: Mysterious findings

Today was a long day of waiting. I was picking up Matt and Caleigh from the train station, but the train was an hour and a half late, so being there a half hour early gave me a lot of down time to read and eat a bag of ships I picked up at the Northern (that was a bad idea). So the first unexpected thing that I found:

At the Northern, there was a book exchange shelf behind the chip aisle (hence the wandering down the chips aisle). Being a book nerd and nearing the end of the current book I'm reading, Atlas Shrugged, I perused. There was a John Grisham, a couple condensed reader editions, a book on the methods in studying behaviour, a psychology magazine, a couple kids books. I almost left with nothing really attracting my eye until....

Born Free by Joy Adamson

When I was little, there were two movies that I would constantly rent from the library, Fly Away Home - the story of a girl finding Canada goose eggs, having the chicks imprint on her, rearing them and then building an airplane with her father to teach them the migration path, and Born Free. Born Free is the story of a couple in Kenya who happen to find these wild lion cubs after the parents were put down and the raising of the cubs, keeping one cub, Elsa, to adulthood when they lived with her and trained her until one day they decided to let her back into the wild and set her free, because she was born free. It's a true story, and this book was written by the woman who raised Elsa. This is one of the stories that really captured my imagination of how humans and wildlife could live side by side. I am quite excited to have found this book up here in Churchill where bears and humans come into contact so frequently. It seems to be a reflection of lions in Kenya and polar bears in Churchill. I suppose some credit of my fascination with animal behaviour can be attributed to this story as well. And if you also happen to be interested in animals communicating with people, listen to Radiolab's Animal Minds episode - which I happened to listen to while I was filtering today. (Strange how connections happen like that sometimes.)

Unexpected finding number 2: After lunch, I went with Kat to do the weekly water sampling and we came across something intriguing. When we returned, I had this elaborate plan of how to present the finding to LeeAnn, stating various theories that could have lead to the thing we saw, but Kat just blurted it out. So to follow her example, we found evidence of the landing area of an alien spaceship. It turns out that the media have been lying to us all this time, the scale they always present is way off! The ships have to be much smaller to make this:

See the mysterious ring? What can it be? What can it be? Aliens!
So an acceptably alternative hypothesis is that is was made by fairies which is why it is sometimes called a fairy ring or elf ring as well. The hypothesis that everyone wants you to believe is that it is a fungus, mushrooms that grow in a ring because of the connected mycelia or connected oval genets of neighboring mushrooms. I'm sticking with aliens.

The third interesting thing: After filtering, I went back to the lab to grab the camera to download the pictures of the lakes from water sampling. As soon as I enter the lab, I see:

Remember the post about the squirrel? ... I found him!
First, I grabbed a bucket, think that I might be able to catch him before he fled. Then I realized how unlikely that scenario was, catch a squirrel with a bucket! Kat had already tried this, throwing a bucket at the squirrel, but unsuccessful in the catch. So I gently put the bucket down and grabbed the camera that I was there to retrieve anyways. The little thing posed for me! Then ran at me, under my desk, then Kat's desk, then LeeAnn's desk, then into the classroom where I lost track of him. I just have to remind myself not to feed the wild animals. Though, interestingly, Celia had buns and cheese in a box in the lab last night left over from the Wapusk trip that had little bite marks out of it... I think we found the culprit. Until next time, little buddy.

No comments:

Post a Comment